As the forerunner of modern electronic music, synthpop was the first genre of music dominated by synthesizers. Early synthpop has its origins set firmly in the age of vintage analog synthesis, when the music software of today was still decades away from becoming a reality. Some of the first “pre-synthpop” recordings of the early 1960s were made using synthesizer technologies that would be considered primitive by today’s standards. It was not until the 1970s when companies such as Moog, ARP, Korg, Roland and others began producing a new generation of powerful synths that the idea of composing entire songs with electronic equipment found a large following.
Some of the most popular synthpop bands to emerge in this time were Depeche Mode, New Order, Duran Duran, Pet Shop Boys and Kraftwerk, all of whom had great influence on the genre’s development and remain popular today.
Synthpop first developed as an offshoot of rock music in 1970s Britain. By the mid 1980s it had grown into a mainstay of popular music, though by the end of the decade it had gradually lost much of its mainstream appeal. In the late 2000s a second wave of synthpop emerged, with new bands bringing the genre to a younger generation who had not experienced the first rise of synthpop.
Today, the most widely-used equipment used in the production of synthpop includes the digital audio workstations Steinberg Cubase and Apple Logic as well as vintage analog synthesizers such as the Roland Juno-106 and SH-101 as well as the Korg MS-20.
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